Within the musical microcosm of Brighton resides a smaller strand of sound and innovation. The 'echochamp are attempting to set themselves apart from the rest of the scene and hone in on a sound that fits an ethos formed from a shared sensibility and attitude to songwriting. Echochamp are making music for themselves and packaging it up clearly enough for you to see the intertwining web of relations between the collectives many musicians.

On behalf of The 405, I decided to head to the seaside town and talk to Paeris Giles (The Magic Gang) to gain a greater insight into the collective's motive and purpose.

So how exactly did the collective form?

It was basically me and two other housemates who were just making music while at Uni. Then different people just started to become interested in it, like the NME and DIY who have helped us out loads and been really supportive. But basically as we've made more friends different bands formed and came into it. We thought it would be nice to properly build something where everything can be referenced by and do shows by association, like the one we did for DIY at The Great Escape.

What bands are currently composing echochamp?

It's a weird one. There's stuff that isn't really active, but I'd still consider to be part of it. But at the moment it's Manuka Honeys, Abbatoir Blues, Sulky Boy and I suppose Yours, which was mine and Kristian from The Magic Gang's old band and Home School which is Jack's old solo thing. We also all do stuff in our own right as well which falls under the collective.

Brighton's already a very buzzing scene. Is there space for the collective? How does it stand out?

It seems to me it's more like a different approach to doing something a lot of people are already doing in Brighton. Even when it comes to how we promote ourselves online, what we choose to do and how we talk about it is what sets it apart. I find that a lot of people in Brighton seem to be doing very similar things to each other. Not that that's bad, but it's just I think that the collective has a different sound aesthetic to what most people in Brighton seem to be up to. There's a good garage rock scene, but our stuff is a little... smoother.

Is that how you'd describe the sound of echochamp?

I don't know if there's a cohesive sound. We all help each other out on the aspects of songwriting, recording and producing. Everyone's feedback is expected and that kind of shapes the whole thing. So I wouldn't say there's a specific sound, it's just more that it goes through a lot of filters and those are what make it what it is.

You touched on the collective being a sort of promoting tool, is there room for further expansion?

Yeah, there's definitely scope for that. We want to at some point look on Soundcloud or Bandcamp and if bands haven't done anything before, be able to put them on. But it's purely down to time why we haven't done that yet cause we've all only just finished uni. I'd also like to form new bands with the people already in the collective, like different genres and things.

Would you say the collective's a platform from which bands can benefit of each other's successes?

I think it is. It's just natural for blogs and publications to find common ground between these artists. I wouldn't say it's a 'buzz term'... but it's just easier for the reader to be like 'oh that relates to that'.

Brighton can be seen as quite a closed scene. Has residing here been a help or a hindrance?

I don't really know to be honest. We would do what we do regardless if there was a pre-existing scene and if there wasn't one we'd try and make one. We would just do what we already do I guess.

I know that you've produced some of the collective's output. Is this to be a recurring theme with echochamp?

It kind of started of as everyone doing their own production and recording. However, because Kristian studied music technology, he's the most equipped to get the best sound for everyone so it's gravitated towards Kris doing most of the stuff. It's all very primitive I'd say...

DIY so to speak?

Yeah, just a couple of microphones and an interface. It's more about making do. It would be kind of nice at some point to do really nice recordings instead of trying to bumble along with the whole 'DIY/lo-fi' thing.

Would you not say that 'DIY' has become a 'tag-line' of echochamp?

I'd say kind of, but the issue I have with that is that people use terms like 'lo-fi' to excuse their recordings. It was never really the intention. I think it's a little silly when people try and deliberately make something sound bad quality. If we sound lo-fi, we've tried to make it sound good and that's just our poor recording.

You're really selling the collective...

I'm just being honest!

Would you say you're fronting echochamp?

I wouldn't say that, it's just when we started the collective I had a very vivid idea of what I wanted it to look like, the ethos and all of that kind of stuff. So it's more that really. I had an idea of what it should be like and everyone else was like 'cool'. I mean everyone's equal in it.

Are there any future plans for the collective?

There is, the issue is trying to finance them. We'd like to do more physical releases and create something really special that hopefully people will want to buy. There's kind of the hope that there would be at least 5-10 people who would want to buy everything echochamp puts out because they like the whole makeup of it.

To round it off, what would you say is the purpose of the echochamp collective?

[Laughing] I don't know! The purpose? To make music for ourselves more than anything. It's basically just trying to impress our friends within the group. If your friends get excited about something then you're like 'Yes, that's definitely good'. It's very friend based.

Everybody appears to be living in each other's pockets. It's quite an incestuous scene here.

Incestuous! [Paeris appears a little amused by this remark]. That's just kind of out of proximity and who's available in the area cause there's only a certain amount of drummers or singers per se. So it's natural to draft in the same people. There is a bit of fear that it seems a bit like... for lack of a better term, a circle jerk type of thing where everyone's like "Oh look, I'm in like four bands!" but it's purely out of necessity. You're likely to just ask your mate to do it.


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